The last season of Downton Abbey, an early 20th century version of The Sims, ended not with a whimper but the bang of Matthew Crawley's car flying off the side of the road and Dan Stevens careening toward a movie career that may or may not happen. But what will happen to Lady Mary and her now-fatherless child? And what gentlemen are they going to get up in the manner house that aren't wearing tuxedos and spilling fish sauce on the Dowager Countess?
Well, we finally got at least one answer — the role of Lady Mary's hotly anticipated love slave Lord Gillingham has gone to Tom Cullen, who announced the news on Twitter, this weekend. "I can announce that I'm in the new season four of Downton Abbey. So excited. My heart is beating a little too fast...," he Twittered to his twits. His isn't the only heart that will be beating fast. I am happy to report that, as you can see from the above photo, Mr. Cullen is going to give Allen Leech's Branson a run for his money in the "best looking in a morning coat" department.
RELATED: 'Downton Abbey' Scoop: Who Could Play Mary's Suitor in Season 4?
Cullen, 27, has been starring in the British series Black Mirror, but American fans might know him better from the indie film Weekend, where he plays a gay man who falls in love over the course of (duh) a weekend. Those who haven't seen the film but want to know what Cullen will look like out of his costume on this costume drama should get themselves to Netflix right now because, well, all will be revealed. Between the new characters, O'Brien leaving, and now the dreamy Mr. Cullen joining the cast, Season 4 (which is currently filming in Merry Old England) is officially getting spicy.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: David Fisher/Rex/Rex USA]
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Filmmaker Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld are suing the Weinstein Company over claims their animated movie Escape From Planet Earth was "sabotaged... through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending, and contempt for contractual obligations".
In the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday (02Mar11), the duo is also accused of paying the plaintiffs $500,000 (£333,000) to wait until after the Oscars on Sunday (28Feb11) to take legal action.
The King's Speech, which was distributed by the Weinsteins' firm, ruled the ceremony after scooping four Oscars, including Best Picture.
According to the suit, the Weinsteins allege the $500,000 payment was extorted, which Leech and Inerfeld deny.
Lawyers for the Weinsteins have dismissed the case as "frivolous" and "slanderous", claiming the filmmakers were "let go after they refused to make the picture which TWC wanted" and were paid more than $2 million (£1.3 million) in accordance with their contract.
You know you're in trouble when the terse ironically un-ironic supplementary notes are introduced hogging up half the screen--the cheapest way literally and figuratively to help tell a story. Then we get into the meat of the movie. Mamie (Lisa Kudrow) meets and is subsequently blackmailed by a struggling filmmaker (Jesse Bradford) who claims to know the whereabouts of her 20-year-old estranged son; Charley (Steve Coogan) and his boyfriend Gil (David Sutcliffe) think that their best friends Pam (Laura Dern) and her girlfriend Diane (Sarah Clarke) are lying about using Gil's sperm; and Otis (Jason Ritter) a young gay man tries to stave off the suspicions of his father (Tom Arnold) by "dating" the neighborhood leech Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal) only to find out that she's really after his father's money. Whew! And just when you think each "separate" story can't get any more convoluted tangential sub-stories emerge. Plus you've got those notes that keep popping up telling the audience how to feel. We will begrudgingly resist the obligatory--and in this case not-so-friendly--play on words the title invites.
To Happy Endings' credit the acting is quite good. In fact it's the film's saving grace and perhaps its only redeeming quality. Kudrow--doing nothing to dispel the theory that the only post-Friends cast member getting any legitimate film offers is Jennifer Aniston--at least turns in another fine dramatic performance as the hard-luck Mamie. Coogan (Around the World in 80 Days) proves himself incapable of bad work with his take as a modern-day cynic. Gyllenhaal although still stellar with her enigmatic sultry trademark (not to mention the eyes) might be moving dangerously close to being typecast as the sexual deviant she started in Secretary (not that we're complaining). Ritter son of the late John Ritter is surprisingly strong as a conflicted teenager torn between his father's expectations and his own while Bradford (Swimfan) quickly becoming a veritable indie veteran gives a powerful performance as the ambiguous filmmaker (an unintentional running theme throughout). But the breakout performance oddly enough comes from Arnold. The actor who is most often associated with belligerence and baaaadcomedies as well as the whole Roseanne saga plays it down considerably as Frank a long-suffering widower and single parent who has too much money and not enough love. He'll the surprise the dozens who will turn out to see the film.
Writer-director Don Roos has had his hand in nine feature films now--mostly as a writer--but is most revered for writing and directing 1998 critically acclaimed dark comedy The Opposite of Sex. Those stellar subtle techniques he displayed in Sex however are hard to spot in Happy Endings. Clearly Roos has a penchant for complex storylines but more isn't always better. Trying to bring together such stories tenuous to begin with by way of mere coincidence doesn't work. The use of the split-screen "addendums"--so to speak--that pop up throughout the film are a collective cop-out. They distract detract and alienate audiences more so than even subtitles because the tidbits are stream-of-consciousness. Plus they reveal integral pieces of information with a certain unsuccessful flamboyance. This technique is usually only used on the most rudimentary filmmaking/screenwriting level. And with all of the script's vigorous efforts trying to remove us so far from the inevitable the end is still incredibly anti-climactic and predictable.